Natalie Khazaal

Director of Middle Eastern and North African Studies Programs, Associate Professor of Arabic

Member Of:
  • School of Modern Languages
Office Location: Swann
Email Address:


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Dr. Natalie Khazaal is an associate professor in the School of Modern Languages at Georgia Tech and the director of the Arabic and Middle East & North Africa programs. She is also an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellow for her work on Arab atheists. She grew up in Burgas—the largest port city on the Black Sea, and received her doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). 

Dr. Khazaal studies how disenfranchisement, media, and language affect each other and has focused on Lebanon, atheists in Arabic-speaking communities, refugees, and non-human animals. Her book, Pretty Liar: Television, Language, and Gender in Wartime Lebanon (Syracuse UP, 2018), is the only study that explores the role of audiences in the development of media legitimacy during violent crises with a focus on Lebanon. Her publications on speciesism in the media—including her co-edited volume on borders and the displacement of human refugees and nonhuman animals, ‘Like an Animal’: Critical Animal Studies Perspectives on Borders, Displacement, and Othering (Brill 2020)—have received international recognition in Spain, Turkey, Australia, Canada, and the US. She has contributed to the topic of atheism with publications on the use of pseudonyms by Arab atheists, on how gender affects the way Arab atheists approach television, and on the embedded atheism in Mohamed Choukri’s literary oeuvre. 

Dr. Khazaal has taught classes on Arab culture, media, and globalization that develop students’ critical thinking, curiosity, and cultural tolerance at Georgia Tech, Georgetown University, UCLA, Carleton College, Middlebury College, and Texas A&M. She was the founding faculty advisor for No Lost Generation-Texas, a student initiative that connects with aid organizations, NGOs, governments, and the private sector to help with the global refugee/migrant crisis relief efforts. She was also a founding board member of the Cannon River STEM School, Minnesota. Currently, she is on the board of Ideas Beyond Borders—a non-profit organization that supports young people to think critically about topics ranging from human rights to science and technology, encouraging them to retain their cultural identities but question the status quo and push back against extremism and violence.

She is a guest expert on Court TV; the creator, director, and presentor of the Arabic-language YouTube channel, GenV; and a consultant for Hollywood (Munich, 2005, dir. Steven Spielberg


  • Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Awards and
  • 2019 Fellow of the ACLS/Luce Program in Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs
  • 2020 Faces of Exclusive Excellence Award recipient, Georgia Tech
  • 2021 Silver Star Award, Ivan Allen College, Georgia Tech
  • 2022 Faculty Excellence Award for research, Ivan Allen College, Georgia Tech
  • 2022 Teaching Excellence Award, Georgia Tech
Areas of
  • Disenfranchisement
  • Language
  • Media


Research Fields:
  • Arabic
  • Climate Change Mitigation
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Africa (North)
  • Middle East
  • Journalism
  • Language and Popular Culture
  • Media
  • Middle-Eastern Studies
  • Migration


  • ARBC-2001: Intermediate Arabic I
  • ARBC-2002: Intermediate Arabic II
  • ARBC-3005: Contemp Arab Culture: Business Arabic: Advertising
  • ARBC-3501: Men-Women In Islam
  • ARBC-3813: Special Topics: Arab history on film
  • ML-2500: Intro Cross-Cult Studies
  • ML-2500: Intro Cross-Cult Studies: Arab history on film

All Publications


Journal Articles

Journal - Editors